Don’t Fight the Brand…Embrace It
Think of your favorite brand.
Apple. Starbucks. Target.
What’s the first thing you think about? The first image that you conjure up? For many people, it’s the logo—the image that’s on napkins, laptops, TV commercials, bill statements, advertising. It’s everywhere. That company wants you to remember its brand.
But there’s more to a brand than the logo. There’s the font, the colors, the imagery, signage—anything that gives a cohesive look and feel to what a company produces. When people inside a company think about the brand, they usually think it’s solely marketing’s responsibility. But that’s not actually the case. It goes beyond the marketing team and is bigger than just visual and graphic execution.
When it comes to your company brand, the entire organization plays a role—the sales team, accounts receivable, the receptionist. It’s everyone’s responsibility to get it right, because everyone plays a part in the collective experience of your brand. Not surprisingly, we call that the “brand experience.” The brand experience is not just what your company looks like, but how that company makes your clients and customers feel when doing business with you.
So where do you start? How do you not only get the entire team to understand that they have a role in creating a successful brand, but get them engaged in the process?
Start at the top: It starts with the people in charge. Your leadership team, executive team, owner—whoever it is responsible needs to take an active role in getting the rest of the organization on board. Communication from the top team sends a message to the rest of the organization that their participation is important to the success of the overall brand experience and the success of the company.
Brand 101: The organization can’t be part of the brand if they don’t understand it. Sure, they’ve all seen the logo and ads, so they’re probably familiar with the colors, but do they know the brand “DNA”? Have they been educated on how you want customers to feel when they interact with your organization? You can’t assume everyone is on the same page. Set up training sessions, walk them through what you expect them to communicate, and give real world examples of how they can achieve it.
Get input: One of the best ways to ensure everyone stays involved is to get their feedback. You’ve educated them on what the brand is and set expectations for what you want customers to take away when interacting with you. Now give each team the opportunity to provide input on how they contribute to the brand experience, and how they can improve. The more involved the teams feel in creating the solution, the more likely they’ll take ownership of the roles they play.
Remember, your brand is not meant to be stagnant. It is a continually evolving entity, and it will change as your customers’ needs change. Remember to revisit and adjust to make sure you’re giving your customers the most optimal brand experience you can deliver.
What are some of the strategies you use to ensure your team is living the brand experience every day? Share with us on Twitter, @TWCBusiness.